Stage 1A Ovarian Cancer

Hello, I was diagnosed last Wednesday, two weeks after a radical hysterectomy. My Dr recommended 6 rounds of chemo. I'm really afraid, anxious and every other emotion. I feel if she got it all, why I would have to undergo that treatment. Why can't I have a low dose treatment or anything else other than chemo??

Can anyone help with answers? Has anyone gone through something similar? Thank you.

28 Replies

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  • The question of whether to offer chemo to an early stage ovarian cancer patient is sometimes based on the type of ovarian cancer and the grade. Do you know what type and grade your cancer is? I am assuming that your surgery was done by a gynecologic oncologist. The NCCN puts out guidelines for treatment options. There is a patient version that you can read at: nccn.org/patients/guideline...

    Regarding being scared of getting chemo, that is totally understandable. It might help to speak directly to a survivor who has been through treatments to help ease some of your fear so that you can make an informed decision whether or not to have chemo. SHARE's helpline (866-537-4273) is manned by women who are all survivors and can walk you through what to expect. I can't tell if you live in the US or not. If you don't, than you can submit an email request to SHARE's helpline on their website (www.sharecancersupport.org) and we can set up a Facetime or Skype call with you.

  • Thank you for your response. All I remember is my oncologist saying it was stage 1A, high grade. Yesterday, I was told I could be under surveillance or have the 6 rounds of chemo.

    I just feel it's a bit much. I'm wondering if other chemo medicines can be used that do not cause complete hair loss. I asked about other therapies but she stated that most were for advanced stages. I don't know where to turn or who to ask!

  • Hair grows back. I think it is better to look at possible long term effects as you make your decision

  • You might consider getting a second opinion from another gynecologic oncologist. It will help you to be a bit more confident in whatever decision you make - to chemo or not to chemo...that is the question. :)

  • Hi. I also had a radical hysterectomy in January. Mine was 1c but not sure why as it was only found in an Ovarian cyst and hadn't even spread to my ovary, however on removal of the cyst- it ruptured. I also had 6 rounds of chemo - Carboplatin only. I was told that mine was a high grade - spreads quickly and that's why I needed chemo. Hope this helps. Good luck - stage 1a is usually a good prognosis.

  • Because it ruptured, it is possible that cancer cells were spilled into your pelvic and abdominal cavities and so you have the risk of those cancer cells growing again. The good news is that high grade tends to respond to chemo so hopefully the chemo with kill off any of those cells that got loose.

  • Thank you for your response. How were the side affects with only the Carboplatin? My oncologist recommended that along with the Taxo. That's the one that causes the hair loss and neuropathy?

  • Thank you for sharing. I'm wondering why my onc recommended both carbo and taxol and not just the carbo? Also, do you think chemo causes other cancers down the road?

  • Id ask my onc why taxol too. A friend of mine - who I met in hospital was the same dx as me and was also given taxol but here had spread to both ovaries so figured that was the reason. Good luck.

  • From my research they don’t always do chemo for 1a. The reason for the chemo (or radiation for some cancers) is there’s no way to be sure there are no cancer cells left behind. A few runaway cells can result in more cancer. Not good.

  • Thanks for your response. Another option for me is surveillance. I considered but I'll always be in fear of it returning. I wish there was a less harsh way to treat my cancer. I'm having anxiety, fear, a nightmare last night. I'm grateful it was caught early but why do I feel so bad, sad and angry all at once?

  • I agree with Mary. I had both drugs .

    6 rounds, with follow up blood tests every two months , exam and blood work for 2 years . Just before going to check up every 3 months , CT showed cancer in spleen. Turned out during surgery it was in part of stomach and pancreas .

    More chemo, then I went without chemo for 1 year, followups every 2 months., but my CT in November was clear. What a blessing. although, I know it may pop up again I am optimistic

    It's a journey . I just put my trust in God and my doctor. God luck.

  • While doctors are amazing at what they do, there could be microscopic cancer that they didn't see and the chemo is to " mop Up" anything that might have been seen even with a very trained eye. Drinking lots of healthy water while on chemo should do a lot to minimize side effects.

    Hair loss. This is one of those Hind Sight points of views. Most of us do get freaked about losing our hair, but luckily many of us learn it was not as devastating as we thought it would be and can often be a liberating experiance at the same time.

    OC is a journey because we never know what might be around the bend, but you will quickly see these women are some of the strongest you will ever have the pleasure of knowing and with this knowledge is power over the disease.

  • I have not had this problem but this maybe standard procedure to make sure you are safe. Good luck with your recovery friend

  • I’ve had 1A high grade serous cancer and had 6 chemo carboplatin only .

    Why would they need to give you taxol as well ? The carboplatin does the main work .

    I didn’t loose my hair only went a little thin but nothing noticeable .

    I would question why such a harsh regime of the 2 combined ?

  • I did ask and the nurse stated that it is the recommendation from all studies, etc. I'm having a tough time with that recommendation especially since I've read hear that some patients only receive the carbo. I'm torn, tired and so stressed by all the reading I've done. I'm wondering if a second opinion is too late?

  • Glad to hear someone else who only had Carboplatin - was beginning to think I was the only one.

  • Yes that is the general protocol hysterectomy and six rounds of Carboplatin and taxol. The surgery is not bad you recover from that quickly. Just be strong and fight through the chemo. It's according to how she/he doses you ,mine was extremely strong. But I made it through that set. God bless and keep going and keep your spirits. Belsie

  • I think the doctor want to make sure ,it's prevention in case there are other cells that my have been affective. It may be standard procedure.

    Wishing you the best.

  • I just finished six rounds of Carbo/Taxol in May of this year for Medium Grade 1a epithelial ovarian cancer. Cantaloupe size tumor was removed in tact but my oncologist wanted to make sure any stray cells were killed by the chemo. Chemo wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I took preventative meds so I was never nauseated. Achy and did lose my hair. Still in the process of growing it back and my legs still ache some and I still have fatigue. But I would do the same route again ...don’t regret my choice. Had clear scan in August. Will be praying for you. It seems like a fog when you are going through it and hopefully will soon be behind you. We are both so blessed to have been diagnosed at 1a!

  • I started treatment 3 years ago when my condition wAs similar to yours. While the Dr said he got everything with surgery, I. E. he saw (“no visible Evidence”) I had chemo — Carbo plus taxol to get any unseen cells and for prophylaxis. I’ve since been treated with chemo for recurrences.

    I wish you Good luck and no recurrences.

    Lois

  • I'm Stage 1 C and just finished 4 rounds of Carbo-Taxol.

    This chemo is challenging for certain, hate the side effects but they are manageable with an aggressive oncologist, which I have.

    I would NOT pass up the opportunity to kill off stray cancer cells hunting around for a place to live - and then trying to kill me!

    There are no guarantees with OC - it is terribly clever and seemingly very creative and ambitious. But many of us have been around for 10 and 20 years.

    I'd go with the chemo again to buy myself these years.

    Hair grows back. Lol, I'm bald but I don't care! I've heard that your hair may come back a different color and texture for a few months, and then reverts to its old self. I'm looking forward to an adventure with my new hair - having had straight and fine hair, I'm hoping for curly and coarse! That would be great fun if just for a short while.

    Good luck with your decision, MMont!

    Judy

  • Thank you for sharing. I have had my second treatment if carbo/taxin and four more to go.

    I had a very hard time with this but one day it hit me while in the shower to accept it, embrace it. I'm fine. I do have a moment here and there about my hair but I'm okay and happy with my decision. I want to be around many more years.

  • That's it!

    Super.

  • 8 years ago I had 1a ovarian and 1b uterine. Had a hysterectomy but no further treatment. This last year had a recurrence in 4 places. Just for your information.

  • Thank you for sharing. May I ask if your Doctor recommended further treatment?

  • I was diagnosed with the exact same thing, same treatment a few weeks ago. Are you doing 3 weeks on/ 1 week off or one treatment monthly? Any tips? I will be starting chemo next week.

  • No she did not. Actually she was a gyn. And she did not send me to an oncologist. After the surgery she just mentioned there was a small tumor on my overy. But did not explain it was a different cancer. I thought it was from the uterus. That's why I said it is so important to see a gyn oncologist. But I am doing good now. Had chemo and surgery and being monitered. Hope all goes well with you.

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